HUMA Lecture #19
March 24 2014
Question 2 of test, full answer: argument of design, Hume’ argument of causality, criticism in
Question 3, Start by what is meant by state of nature, rights of nature, laws of nature and
obligation of nature
Bonus: Nature of the physical world. Dema wants to say, Objects in the world are always
dependent on something other than themselves. Demea wants to say for any and every object
Demea: you can take any contingent existence and you can trace it back through a series of
other contingent existences, but what demea says is you cannot go back to infinity. Demea
claims rather than explaining what caused what, it further puts off what caused it. The
contingent can only be explained by a being who can cause other things to happen without
being caused themselves. The cause of the world has to be an uncaused cause. Demea, it’s
God. The nature of God’s existence is God turns out to be necessarily existent. Should take
about 2 pages
Thomas Hobbes: The Leviathan
• Hobbes knew Descartes, and admired Descartes
• Hobbes was more interested in political philosophy, trying to make the world a better
• 1. Notion of Obligation
• Notion of duty.
• Things you must do to exist in this society.
• Duty to tell the truth, you tell the truth
• Hobbes: How do you establish an obligation
• All men are mortal
• Socrates is a man
• Therefore: Socrates is mortal
• In this kind of reasoning, the conclusion rearranges the terms
• This kind of reasoning is called: Syntactical.
• In a deductive argument, the conclusion must state terms already in the premises
• You ought to do X.
• You have an obligation, ought to
• Why should you do this? Because I’m your father/mother
• Hobbes realised, reasoning in this way is never logically correct
• Why is it bad? It’s bad because the premise involved some kind of description
• But the conclusion of the argument is not a description, rather a prescription.
• The point Hobbes and Hume made, this method is always invalid
• How should obligation work? • The answer is in mathematics.
• Hobbes: Why is everyone obliged to accept this?
• What is the basis of obligation in mathematics?
• 2 factors.
• 1. The components of the equation are to use fixed features. 5 will be 5, 7
will be 7, 2 will be 2 etc.
• 2. Mathematics works because the left side and the right side are
• If someone were to deny 7+5+2=14, it would be similar to saying
1+1+1+.... down to the 14 , does not equal 1+1+1+1 down to the 14 th
• Remain faithful to the principle of non contradiction
• The term obligation does not appear in the equation
• There must be an analogue between mathematics and political philosophy
• State of nature
• Hobbes, how is society best served, the best model.
• We have to take people from society, remove them from society, and see how
people behave in a non societal state
• Maybe we would be better off, maybe not
• Turns out a non societal state would be completely unsatisfactory to everyone
• Would result in the war of all against all
• War doesn’t mean actual fighting, but rather everyone is an enemy